Photo: Wizards of the Coast
Get ready for a fresh kind of Standard this week because two major decks in the format are being killed thanks to the latest ban announcement.
Today, Wizards of the Coast made its banned and restricted announcement, informing us that four cards have been banned in the Standard format: Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Ramunap Ruins.
According to R&D, they've observed that Standard has been dominated for several months by two archetypes: Temur Energy and Ramunap Red. These two archetypes represented 40% of the competitive metagame, and "both boast significantly positive records against the rest of the field (in terms of non-mirror-match win percentage). This is despite the best efforts of the metagame to adapt and counter these decks."
The bans on Attune of Aether and Rogue Refiner aren't that surprising. Many in the community speculated them to get the ban hammer today. Pro Tour Ixalan was dominated by deck archetypes that consist of mostly cards from Kaladesh block thanks to the dominance of Energy decks. However, the bans on Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon are surprising to many players.
They considered banning other cards used in Ramunap Red decks like Earthshaker Khenra or Anh-Crop Crasher, but they ultimately decided to ban Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferodidon instead. You can read the explanation below.
"While Rampaging Ferocidon may have been an appropriate answer card in a more powerful metagame that contained that combo, it has instead proven to cause collateral damage against other decks aiming to counter aggressive red strategies," Ian Duke explained. "Two strategies that have historically been effective against aggressive red decks have been flooding the board with small creatures and gaining life. Over time we've seen the rise and fall of decks designed to counter "
"Ramunap Red, like Abzan and Esper Tokens variants and Oketa's Monument decks like Mono-White Vampires," Duke wrote. "Initially, these were unfavorable matchups for Ramunap Red, but as the red decks adopted more copies of Rampaging Ferocidon in their sideboards and even main decks, they were able to turn these matchups positive again."
As for Energy decks, YouTuber MTGOTraders did a fantastic job pointing out 5 reasons why Energy should be banned.
So do you think Wizards of the Coast made a good decision to ban these four cards? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I'm definitely looking forward to a fresh new Standard metagame. Hopefully, no new deck types will be so dominant to cause more bannings this year.
You can read WOTC's full announcement here.
Rivals of Ixalan will be available this Friday worldwide.